Robotic Assisted Surgery And The Da Vinci Robotic System

Dr. Scherr has performed over 3,000 robotic procedures since performing the first robotic prostatectomy at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University in 2002. These have ranged from robotic prostatectomies which is the removal of the prostate, to robotic cystectomies, which involves removal of a cancerous bladder and reconstruction of a new bladder. In addition, he has performed many robotic bladder diverticulectomies, distal ureterectomtomies and ureteral reimplantation procedures, among others.

Using technology like the da Vinci robotic system, it has become quite clear that Dr. Scherr’s patients experience less pain and less blood loss, have a lower risk of post surgical complications, have shorter hospital stays and generally recover more quickly than ever before. In most cases, robotic assisted surgery has proven to have significant benefits both in short term recovery and quality of life and most importantly, in oncological outcomes and cancer control.

The Da Vinci Surgical System Offers Minimally Invasive Treatment Alternative

The state-of-the-art da Vinci surgical system combines the incredible dexterity of robotics and the three-dimensional depth perception of computer technology, a characteristic missing from traditional open and even laparoscopic surgery. Da Vinci robotic procedures rely on a robotic arm designed with seven degrees of motion to replicate the dexterity of a surgeon’s wrist.

System Overview

The da Vinci robotic system allows a surgeon to be seated comfortably only a few feet away from their patient at a control console, while the patient is surrounded by surgical support personnel.

Endowrist® Instruments and Intuitive® Masters

The Endowrist detachable instruments are designed to use tiny surgical incisions, or key-whole incisions, which result in minimal blood loss and post operative scarring. Each da Vinci instrument has a specific surgical mission: suturing, tissue manipulation, clamping, etc. Together they offer steadier “hands” at the surgical site directed by a surgeon.

Enhanced Wrist-Like Dexterity

The da Vinci robotic prostatectomy instruments (which are about the size of a pencil) offer a three-dimensional operative field, higher magnification and enhanced wrist-like dexterity, allowing the surgeon to make microsurgical movements as if he or she was using their own hand, a distinct improvement over the limits of standard laparoscopic instruments or open surgery.

3-D Vision System (Insite® Vision and Navigator Camera Control)

The da vinci surgical system provides enhanced 3D (three-dimensional) images during the operation. A special, high resolution camera displays the operating site at 10-15 times better than a human eye. The image processing is real time, clear, and bright. The 3-D Vision system uses filters to eliminate distortion and image fogging. Virtual 3-D images make it possible to perform minimally invasive surgery with precise surgical margins.

Surgeon Console

The da Vinci system allows the surgeon to operate while comfortably seated at an ergonomically designed console. During the operation, the surgeon has a 3-D image of the surgical field. The console controls are designed to seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into precise, and corresponding real-time micro movements of the EndoWrist instruments positioned inside the patient.

Robotic prostatectomy surgery performed with the da Vinci robotic system allows patients to return home quickly, and with less scarring than any comparable open procedure. Traditional laparoscopic techniques do speed patient recovery, but they’re unnatural to surgeons and therefore difficult to master. Movements are reversed and must be performed using a two-dimensional monitor; body and arms are in awkward positions, so there’s always some second-guessing involved. Even though Dr. Scherr is a highly skilled laparoscopic surgeon, he appreciates the enhanced accuracy of the da Vinci robotic system. The da Vinci robotic surgery approach is just “more intuitive” according to Dr. Scherr.

Benefiting from State-of-the-Art Robotic Prostatectomy Technology

Robotic assisted prostate surgery eliminates the need for large incisions. In evaluating long term data comparing large open prostatectomy surgery with robotic experience, it is quite clear that open surgical patients experience five times the loss of blood, suffer higher chances of infection, incontinence or impotence and have four times the risk of other complications and are forced to spend three times as long in the hospital as those who’ve undergone robotic assisted prostate surgery, or robotic assisted cystectomy surgery. For example, with up to date modifications of surgical technique, Dr. Scherr concludes that his patients have a much earlier return of urinary control within weeks and greatly improved potency rates. In addition, for those patients with more locally advanced disease, Dr. Scherr has a plethora of proven experience with robotic nerve grafting to restore erectile function.

Summary of Robotic Surgery Benefits:

  • Less tissue damage and scarring as a result of minimally invasive incisions.
  • da Vinci robotic surgery procedures result in less post-operative pain and discomfort.
  • The da Vinci robotic system has a 3-D visualization offering surgeons a more accurate and definitive view of the procedure.
  • Robotic assisted surgery requires smaller incisions and results in less blood loss and minimal scarring.
  • da Vinci robotic procedures require shorter post operative hospital recovery time and provide a faster return to a normal activity level.

Of course, the truly important thing to know is whether or not robotic assisted surgery using the da Vinci System is right for your particular condition. It is not uncommon for some patients to deal with incontinence post-prostatectomy, or erectile dysfunction post-prostatectomy. If you’d like more information on Dr. Scherr’s medical expertise and leading-edge da Vinci robotic technology, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.